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Because my freshman lives on this stuff

I grew up eating all manner of processed and fast foods, so of course as an adult I’m an insufferable “grow it yourself/make it from scratch/fresh ingredients are the best” type. And in the great circle of life, this also of course means that my oldest left for college and promptly began subsisting on Pop-Tarts and Easy Mac. Of course.

Did I try to fight it? Maybe a little. But then I gave up. And now I just comfort myself by 1) reassuring myself that no one ever died from craptastic college eating habits, and 2) buying those items on sale.

Right now Amazon has their 10-pack of Easy Mac cups priced at $7.49, plus there’s a clippable 15% off coupon, plus you save another 15% if you buy via Subscribe & Save and have 5+ items for the month. That means you can get 10 cups for $5.25, which is a no-brainer “buy” price for me.

Optional: Handing the cups over to your college student while sighing heavily and saying, “Tell me again why I’m paying for a meal plan for you?”

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Back to school with instant oatmeal

Listen: I like to make my own oatmeal. Like, in a pot on the stove. And furthermore: I prefer steel-cut oats, and I barely sweeten them. My teenagers, however, like sugar. Lots and lots of sugar. So I share this deal for my fellow “I have given up, eat what you want” parents, with the full acknowledgement that instant oatmeal is only sort of actual food.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, check this out: Amazon has a deal on Quaker Instant Oatmeal right now where buying 2 cases gets you an automatic $5 off back-to-school credit. To maximize the savings, you need to go pick your flavor (I bought Dino Egg Brown Sugar because nothing says “you’re in college now and if you eat anything at all that isn’t candy I’m happy” like dinosaurs in your oatmeal, right?), choose “One-time Purchase,” and change the quantity to 2. Then change to “Subscribe & Save” before adding it to your cart. (I’m not sure why you need to do this, but I think it’s because the BTS credit isn’t supposed to work on S&S.)

Now when you check out, you should have your 2 cases of oatmeal, a Subscribe & Save discount, and a $5 credit labeled “BTS savings.” For me, that meant I had 2 cases of 32 packets of oatmeal—each listed at $9.96—minus the $5, minus the $2.99 S&S discount (I am already up to 15% off this month), so a grand total of $11.93 for 64 servings of oatmeal. That’s just under $.19/serving, which will go a long way towards soothing my guilt over buying this not-exactly healthful stuff in the first place. (Do note that it doesn’t contain HFCS, at least. And the fiber and protein counts are pretty good. It’s just, y’know, full of sugar.)

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More IZZE, this time for the pomegranate fans

So we just had that great deal on clementine flavor IZZE, and today the 24-pack of pomegranate IZZE is on Lightning Deal for $14.34. Once again—and it seems this doesn’t work for everyone, so maybe just for those with Prime (make sure you’re logged in, too)?—there’s a clippable 20% off coupon in the middle of the page, too, which takes the total down to just $10.51 shipped.

I was about to buy these when I remembered that my son doesn’t like this flavor. You know who likes this flavor? Me. And I should probably just be drinking more water. But hey, if you like pomegranate, grab this one.

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A perfect soda alternative

I’ve frequently sung the praises of IZZE drinks here, I think—sparkling juice beverages with no additives or extra sugar are a nice treat to keep around when you’re a meanie like me who doesn’t buy soda for the kids. What I don’t love is the price, though, most of the time. I mean, it’s worth it, it’s just that I’m a cheapskate.

Well, here’s where I just love the Lightning Deals: right now Amazon has this 24-pack of Clementine IZZE (our favorite flavor!) on Lightning Deal for $12.41. That’s pretty good, already, but there’s also a 20% off coupon you can clip on the product page, and that 20% comes off the regular price, not the Deal price. End result? 24 delicious cans of sparkling juice for $9.09, which is cheap enough for me to earn some Cool Mom points.

Go grab it before the deal ends or they realize they left the coupon on there. I think they usually don’t mean to combine them, but hey, I’m not complaining.

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It’s time for snacks

Hello! Sorry for the absence this week. The craziest thing happened—about 18 years ago I gave birth to a tiny human who only recently turned into a full-fledged independent person, and just when that happened, she had the nerve to move away for college. I mean. Anyway, I spent most of this week alternately yelling at her to go pack things and grabbing her face and calling her my precious widdle baby. (This was just me making sure she was ready to leave, you understand.) Yesterday we made the trek and dropped her off, so we now return you to our regularly scheduled programming.

Anyway, because I’m an adult, and I deal with my feelings in adult ways, now that I’m home minus one kid I am going to Eat All The Things, so I was delighted to see this deal pop up on Amazon on Kind bars, because 1) I love those, 2) I feel kind of virtuous because they’re less crappy than generic granola bars, and 3) the price is great. The popped salted caramel ones are down to $7.78 for 15, plus cheaper on Subscribe & Save, plus there’s a clippable 20% off coupon.

Did I order them as fast as I could click Buy? Indeed I did. Because I am going to need a lot of snacks to get through the next… ummm… five years or so. Don’t judge.

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Packing lunch boxes again

I’m already seeing a few back-to-school first day pictures cropping up on social media. My kids go back next week. A blissful summer of never once asking “What do you want in your lunch today?” is rapidly drawing to a close.

Maybe it’s just me, but packing lunches annoys me like nothing else. Or maybe I should say maybe it’s just my kids (who—let’s be honest—are pretty much adults at this point), who have very specific ideas about what should be in those lunches, yet they don’t want to pack them themselves, or anything, don’t be silly.

Anyway. We do a lot of healthy food around here, but periodically I succumb to the one snack food that seems to make everyone happy. It’s cheesy, it’s salty, it’s unnaturally colored… that’s right, I’m talking about Cheez-its. Why does my family love them so? I try not to think about it too hard. I do, however, buy them for lunch bag inclusion when the price is right. And looky here—right now at Amazon, there’s a 25% off coupon on various snack options, including Cheez-its and Pringles and some other stuff, so I’ll be able to kick off packed-lunch season with something they won’t complain about, at a decent price. Win/win.

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“Summer Ship” = savings right now

Do not ask me to explain this—I try not to look gift horses in the mouth, even when they confuse me—but right now Amazon is offering a number of their groceries items with an additional 50% off at checkout if they fall under their “Summer Ship” category. What does that mean? I suspect it means “these are items we tend not to sell during the summer because they melt, so we’re trying to reduce inventory right now before that happens,” but that’s just a guess.

Regardless, I just picked up a case of 36 full-size 3 Musketeers bars for $12.23 shipped, which is nuts. (That’s one case of candy for band concessions taken care of before we even have our first rehearsal of the season.) And 18 packages of white-chocolate-covered Snyder’s pretzels? Well that’s on its way here for just $6.30. (Guess who’s going to be taking a case of pretzels to college…?) I can’t seem to find any sort of centralized location for the items which are half off, but poke around. Eligible items say “Save 50% each on Summer Ship offered by when you purchase 1 or more” under the “Special Offers and Product Promotions” section of the page (kind of in the middle).

Happy hunting!

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Occasionally I succumb to junk, it’s true

So, listen, I’m big on homemade and natural and organic and all of that stuff. I am, truly. But I also grew up on Kraft macaroni and cheese, so it will always occupy a little spot in my heart. Furthermore, I don’t know if you know this, but a lot of teenagers are lazy about making their own food. (I know! What a surprise from the “well all my clothes are on the floor because that’s where I took them off” set, right??) So we always have a few blue boxes in the pantry for teenager food emergencies.

And right now I’m busy accumulating some items for my graduating senior to take with her to college in the fall. It is my hope that she will eat balanced meals from the dining halls with healthy snacks in-between, but it is also my acceptance of reality to know that, well, that’s not always going to happen. So: right now Amazon has this 10-pack of Kraft Easy Mac Triple Cheese Cups for $9.80, which is about the typical price (a little under, actually), but if you buy via Subscribe & Save and have 5+ items, that drops it to $8.33, plus there’s a clippable 25% off coupon, which means your total could be $5.88 delivered. It’s still 1) not real food and 2) a terrible waste of packing material, I know, but for that price, I call it affordable insurance for my dorm-bound picky eater.

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Quick, get some bunnies!

Still need chocolate for Easter baskets? Right now Amazon has this 15.2 ounce of mixed chocolate Ghirardelli bunnies on Lightning Deal for just $9.79, plus I think they forgot there’s a clippable 25% off coupon (which comes off the list price, not the Lightning Deal price). Final result? Nearly a pound of one of my favorite chocolate brands, for just $6.29.

Get ’em before they’re gone!

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So apparently this is a thing, now

It seems like just yesterday I was pointing out how you could spend $10 on coffee to get a $10 coffee credit… probably because that actually happened yesterday. Funny how that works.

Today, it turns out this may be a trend: Now you can also spend $10 on jerky to get a $10 jerky credit. Really. This is a real thing.

You’ll get 6 or more jerky items to try, plus you get your purchase price as a credit towards a future qualifying jerky purchase. Sooooo… I guess you have to really like jerky, but there you go.

I’ve now written “jerky” so many times, it has ceased to look like a real word. Insert your own jerky joke here.

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